Work at Home Ideas for Bakers and Caterers: How to Sell Food Legally

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Many people would like to use work at home ideas to sell foodstuffs in local and even online markets, and this can be a great way to become self employed. However, not everyone knows how to establish these types of home-based businesses legally. Food can be tricky, and it’s important to know how to operate within the boundaries of the law. Find out how to sell food legally as a professional baker and/or caterer.

Working at Home as a Baker or Caterer

For people who like to create edible goodies, working at home as a baker or caterer (or even both) sounds like a great self employment idea. With recipes, creativity and a true will to succeed, it’s possible to make this profession work well. Selling food can be an enjoyable and successful home-based business.

But how to make this profession work legally? People love to eat food, so there’s a huge market out there for those who want to work at home by selling their edible products. Before selling anything, however, find out how to do it without breaking any laws.

How to Sell Food Legally

Want to know how to sell food legally, turning work at home ideas into a viable home-based business? Like everything else, working as a professional, home-based caterer or baker (or something else food-related) is all about finding, and obtaining, the proper licensing. Food service, mobile vendor and catering licenses are all provided to US-based professionals on a state-by-state basis. Check with local government officials to find out what’s needed and how to get it.

  • Catering license. Often, catering licenses are needed by professionals who operate a food service business which provides tasty treats and full course meals to private events, parties, etc.
  • Food service establishment licensing. While some large catering companies may need to obtain a special license for operating a food service establishment, many home-based kitchens (even those supplying food for clients) will not need to have this in place to operate.
  • Mobile vendor licensing. Want to take the grub on the road, offering up treats from a mobile cart, truck or another type of vehicle? In many states, it’s necessary to get a mobile vendor’s license before doing so.
  • Food permits. There are many different types of food permits, which can be obtained when individuals or businesses want to provide food to guests and/or clients. A short-term permit, for instance, can be obtained for a single event or party. The seasonal food permit is only active at certain periods during the year. Private events, such as weddings, often do not need to obtain food permits. However, public events where anyone and everyone is welcome will generally need to get this type of license.
  • Retail food permits. Want to sell food by the package, plate, bite or piece, rather than selling out catering-like services? Refer to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a site offered by the US government. Here, professionals will find the retailer application form and data on how to abide by food laws, including tricky nutritional information.

Still have questions about what is and isn’t allowed, what’s needed to get the ball rolling and how to get work at home ideas out of the planning stage? Call the local courthouse and ask them for assistance and guidance- they can point professionals in the right direction when it comes to food service/preparation/selling info and licensing.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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